E-petition to Prevent Barn Fires

Lia Laskaris Animal Agriculture 4 Comments

From our friends at the Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals:

More than 470,000 farm animals have died in barn fires in Canada between January 2015 and November 2017.  It is very difficult to evacuate animals who are contained in cages and stalls from a burning barn.  Barn fires are usually attended by rural fire departments whose response time is longer than those in urban areas and barns are often engulfed in flames on their arrival.  The National Research Council is currently updating the National Farm Building Code.  The current plan for the updated National Farm Building Code does not include protection for animals.

Please sign and share this e-petition:

Signatures from non-citizens who are not resident in Canada are not counted but there is no minimum age requirement to sign.

A barn is arguably one of the most likely places for a fire to start.  The environment in barns is almost unique – certainly different from homes, offices, public buildings, even manufacturing facilities.  There can be many causes of barn fires.

A fire requires three elements – oxygen, fuel and heat.  Eliminate one and there is no fire.  Obviously oxygen is not a candidate.  Some fuels can be removed, but not all (e.g. straw, wood construction.) But sources of heat (ignition) can be eliminated.  Following are some basic cost-effective steps:

  • Have regular inspections done by a licensed electrician and fix the problems
  • Hire a licensed electrician for all electrical work
  • Consult with your insurance advisor regarding measures that can be taken to avoid a fire and possibly reduce your premium
  • Install a temperature detector system with a telephone alert
  • Use extension cords only temporarily
  • Put cover plates on electrical boxes and explosion cages on light bulbs
  • Consider running electrical wires through conduits to prevent rodent damage
  • Purchase good quality heat lamps and have them installed as permanent equipment
  • Have a dedicated smoking area well away from the barn
  • Have fire extinguishers in good working order at all barn entrances (plus a few extras)
  • Clean cobwebs and dust from electrical equipment
  • Leave recently used equipment outside until it has cooled
  • If hay is stored in the barn, test the temperature for spontaneous combustion
  • Clean manure pits regularly
  • Look for sources of ignition
  • Ask your local fire department to do an onsite inspection
  • Have an emergency checklist posted inside barn entrances
  • Have an “end of day” checklist posted inside barn entrances

Comments 4

  1. Many barn fires are far too many since a few years, these poor animals depend on the attention of the owners, who should check out all the hazards that could put in danger their animals and save them from death. All installations for light, heating should be put in by electricians and verified regularly. Clean barns are a security and should be checked very carefully by the owners for the protection of the workers and their animals.

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